It’s always a good policy to let people know when you’re going to write about them. It’s better if you do it before it’s published but I figured Stephanie wouldn’t mind. Yesterday, after posting my piece where she is the star of the show, I wrote to tell her that a tiny bit of the world would be reading about her. And then it got interesting.
First off, Stephanie pointed out that I got a critical fact wrong. She didn’t buy my book, she borrowed it from the library under the delusion it was actually going to be a cookbook about pies. But then she started reading the stories and sort of didn’t want to return then. Fortunately, Joe (I think her husband) and friends were making brownies and spilled oil all over it. She called the librarian and confessed her crime. Her penitence was to buy another copy for the library and she got to keep the oily one.
And about our friendship. She took umbrage with me calling it “a thin contrivance,” and she’s right. As I said, hearing from her over the years has always made my day. When I thought about it, I probably have exchanged more words with her than some people I know and that makes her friendship very meaningful to me, more than the literary point I was striving for in stating otherwise.
If it stopped there, it would have been a lovely exchange but then all her friends stepped in and lively conversations ensued. Topics ranged from accounts of lemon meringue pie (quickly shortened to lmp) love affairs; pie horror stories; family lore (Karin, you have a very wonderful mom!); cheering on Stephanie’s cousin from Iowa that she could, too, make a lmp (Hi Sharon!). There was an ode to the singular joy of lemon curd (always remember, if your lmp fails, you’ll have lemon curd to enjoy–and tell your guests that’s what you were going for, anyway), and a note of gratitude about how to use all the lemons in the refrigerator.
I bitch and moan a lot about this blogging thing but it’s times like these that make it all seem worthwhile and a professional introvert to tear up. You would think that sheltering in place for going on five weeks would be heaven for a girl who, when asked in normal times to socialize, requires being dragged out of her house by a bulldozer. It’s not, though. Yesterday’s post gave me the opportunity to hang out with Stephanie and all her wonderful friends and it’s been a real jolt of joy. Not as much fun as it would be if we were squeezed into a kitchen together, barefoot with our girdles loose (seriously, how much weight have we all gained?), a couple of pies on the table, coffee if insisted upon, bottles of wine for a few others.
Being the smart one in our relationship, Stephanie suggested that for our future date, “we’re going to let EVERYTHING hang out! ‘Pandemic Style!’ we’ll call it.”
I can’t wait!